5 Jan

E-mail Scandal at the EPA…The Obama administration embraces secrecy and stonewalling.

John Fund @ NRO:

The sudden announcement that Lisa Jackson, the controversial head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be resigning later this month means that the mysterious Richard Windsor will be leaving the building with her.

His is apparently one of several fake names on official EPA e-mail accounts that Jackson used to conduct business while at EPA. Her office claims the name is a combination of her dog’s name and that of the town of East Windsor, N.J., where she once lived.

It’s not uncommon for government officials to have private e-mail accounts. But federal law has set up several barriers to prevent officials from using non-official or secret e-mail addresses to conduct business and then conceal the contents of those accounts from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Politico reports that the EPA was supposed to ensure that anyone requesting Jackson’s e-mails under FOIA would also have access to communications from “Richard Windsor.” “But the system is far from foolproof,” it dryly notes.

When the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market group, came up empty on its FOIA requests for Jackson’s e-mails relating to her anti-coal efforts, it was told by an EPA whistleblower that she was using “Richard Windsor” and other aliases to coordinate with outside anti-coal groups and engage in other activity she wouldn’t want to come to light.

After CEI filed suit, the Justice Department last month reluctantly agreed to produce 12,000 “Richard Windsor” e-mails. The first batch is set to be released on January 14. CEI employees told me they expect the e-mails will be heavily redacted to obscure their content, but that House committees headed by Representative Darrell Issa of California and Representative Fred Upton of Michigan will launch probes that will ultimately bring all of the e-mails to light.

Indeed, Representative Upton has written to the EPA demanding to know whether the use of alias e-mail accounts “has in any way affected the transparency of the agency’s activities or the quality or completeness of information provided” to Congress. In response, the office of the EPA’s inspector general has announced that it will investigate to see if “EPA follows applicable laws and regulations when using private and alias e-mail accounts to conduct official business.”

It clearly hasn’t always in the past. In 2000, Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner responded to a Landmark Legal Foundation FOIA lawsuit by claiming that she didn’t use her government computer for e-mail. But Browner then ordered the hard drive on the computer to be reformatted and all backup tapes destroyed, just hours after a federal judge ordered her agency to preserve all agency e-mails. “EPA vowed it would avoid such problems going forward,” says Chris Horner, a CEI fellow and author of the new book The Liberal War on Transparency. “They clearly haven’t, and neither have other government agencies under Obama, who in 2009 promised us ‘the most honest and transparent administration in history.’”

Horner’s book recounts a series of evasive maneuvers that officials across the entire Obama administration have employed.

When cutting deals to ensure the health-care industry’s support of Obamacare and provide $500 million in green-energy loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar company, senior administration officials used private e-mail accounts that fell outside federal record-keeping laws. The Solyndra loans were coordinated on 14 separate private e-mail accounts. ABC News reported that Jim Messina, who in 2009 was Obama’s deputy White House chief of staff, coordinated with drug companies a $150 million advertising campaign in support of Obamacare using his private AOL account.

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About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.

4 Responses to E-mail Scandal at the EPA…The Obama administration embraces secrecy and stonewalling.

  1. Nan G says: 1

    Was it the EPA or some other Obama agency that pushed Cash4Clunkers as a green move?

    Well, it COST the environment and was wasteful of all sorts of resources!
    http://news.yahoo.com/why-cash-clunkers-hurt-environment-more-helped-024848694.html

    It produced tons of unnecessary waste while doing little to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    The program’s first mistake seems to have been its focus on car shredding, instead of car recycling. With 690,000 vehicles traded in, that’s a pretty big mistake.

    “Cash for Clunkers” cars were never sent to recycling facilities.

    E Magazine states recycling just the plastic and metal alone from the CARS scraps would have saved 24 million barrels of oil.

    More idiocracy at the link above.

    ReplyReply
  2. Smorgasbord says: 2

    It was the Department Of Payback For Union Support that pushed it. Unfortunately for the department, it was the non-union foreign auto manufacturers who benefited most.

    ReplyReply
  3. Gordon D says: 3

    Points to ponder
    After read any articles ask yourself. Was this reporter exercise their right as a free press or are they a co-conspirator in giving the liberal or conservative point of view. If there is a doubt, look and other stories the reporters written.
    You comment on stories are being censored. The HuffPost after posting says; This comment is pending approval and won’t be displayed until it is approved. The question, is Yahoo and Google, are they too censoring. Some of my post never get posted.
    We know that both Republican and Democrats put out talking points. Look up JournoList e-mail group. I’ve noticed that the early postings are along party lines and later when people get home from work the postings become much more conservative,
    My question is how many of these posts are from government employees. There an E-mail Scandal at the EPA. Lisa Jackson the administrator at EPA as several fake names on official EPA e-mail accounts that Jackson used to conduct business while at EPA. The name she used was Richard Windsor. This is against the law. Using a monopoly term, she should go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200, but I’m sure the president will give her a get out the jail free card.

    ReplyReply
  4. Smorgasbord says: 4

    @Gordon D: #3
    Anyone can post as anyone they want to, just like people on the CB radio can be anyone they want to. Some CB users have different HANDLES they use, depending on what type of person they want you to think they are. They have their pickup line handle, or their pretend gay handle, or their real handle. Blog comment sections and CBs let you, “Be all you can be,” and as many of you as you want to be. You have to try to figure out which one they are.

    ReplyReply

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